Porch Poinsettias, Etc.

November 28th, 2011

Well here we are again caught up in the the holiday hustle and bustle and how quickly it can get overwhelming. If you were standing in my house right now, you’d laugh at the scene inside. Well maybe not laugh, but be relieved that yes, our house is messy, and so yes, we’re perfectly normal.    

The dining table is covered in artwork and letters for Santa, the kitchen is a mess, there are bins and boxes of holiday decor everywhere, and the living room is unrecognizable because I’ve been moving furniture around again. There’s not a clear surface to be found, but I really don’t care. The messes are evidence we’ve been busy making Christmas memories.

I made a decision a few days ago to not get caught up in the craziness of the season but instead to choose a slower pace. Since Friday, we’ve started each day hiding in winter pajamas under flannel sheets and emerging on our own time, not one dictated by the clock.  We eventually dragged all the decorations out and now they’re all over the house. I managed to plant poinsettias and suspend a few ornaments on the front porch, but that’s it.  It’s simple and pretty, so I thought I’d share. And why not some thoughts on the season to go with it.       

kate front porch christmas 2011

 

As mothers, we set a pace or a rhythm in our homes. That pace can be chaotic, it can be crazy, or it can be be comforting. As of today, ours qualifies for all of the above, but mostly I’d like to think it’s leaning towards the latter. Sure it’s chaotic because of looming holiday burdens and oh heck yeah is it crazy because of all the holiday decor strewn about. But mostly it’s comforting because of the choice to prioritize our time spent together – it’s more important than anything else.    

  

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Fresh Wreath & Garland Giveaway

November 25th, 2011

Hi all, one last giveaway before signing off for the weekend. This one couldn’t be timed any better!  You’ll recall I’m a huge fan of Lynch Creek Farm having shipped their greenery to my home twice this past year. 

lynch creek banner

Their wreaths are HUGE compared to other store bought versions, measuring 26” across and weighing seven pounds, and they smell absolutely amazing!   

All the greens come from local farmers in Washington State who trim boughs from their forests, they do not cut down trees. Lynch Creek Farm is dedicated to preserving the forests and habitats of the Pacific Northwest.  

  Can you smell the Christmas cheer?  

lynch creek farm wreaths

Great news!  This weekend Lynch Creek Farm is offering three winners a fresh 26” wreath or 18 feet of fresh garland (winners choice) shipped to your door ($40 – $50 value) plus free shipping. 

Eligibility to win one of three free wreaths (or 18’ of garland) from Lynch Creek Farms:

1) Hop over to Lynch Creek Farm and pick your favorite wreath or garland, then name it in a comment.  

2) For a second chance to win, link to this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter, then leave a second comment telling where you linked (FB or Twitter).

Three winners, US only, giveaway ends Sunday November 27th at 8 p.m. PST.  By entering this giveaway you agree to this site’s giveaway policy and Official Rules of Entry. 

That’s all folks, have a great weekend!

Ho ho ho,

kate signature image

 

 

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In the Spotlight: Matthew Mead

November 25th, 2011

I think it’s exciting to hear from inspiring designers and stylists and I love doing interviews with them when I get the chance.  There’s no better time than the holiday season to hear from one of my favorites, Matthew Mead.  Matthew is a stylist, writer, author, and photographer who’s been in the magazine and publishing industry for years and someone I had the pleasure to work with earlier this year. 

Matthew is the former style editor of Country Home magazine, and last year launched his own magazine, Holiday with Matthew Mead. Currently, Matthew is the official food photographer for the Associated Press and a regular style contributor to HGTV.com and Better Homes & Gardens publications. I asked Matthew to answer some questions for me and he graciously agreed.     

CG:  Tell us how you got started in the business of designing, styling, and eventually authoring your own publications?

MM:  I wrote a letter to Mary Emmerling, Queen of Country Style back in the late eighties and was lucky enough to meet her at her South Hampton Long Island cottage compound overlooking the Atlantic.  She offered me work on her new magazine MARY EMMERLING’S COUNTRY and that was the start of my career back in 1992.  I’ve worked in the industry steadily ever since… that led to books, magazines, the creation of my own brand of publications and products.   

CG:   Where do you look for inspiration for all of your projects or magazine shoots?

MM:  I am very drawn to vintage items, antiques, collectibles, colors… you know that about me… when we met at your home the first thing we did was go out antiquing.  Its in my blood, its my soul… I feel so intimately connected to the past, the flea market, the much loved and used items. 

green swag matthew mead 
   
CG:  The holidays are upon is and as the song goes it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?  People often feel the stress of the season and can forget it’s more about the celebrations.  What are some tips you can share for effortless entertaining?

MM:  Keep it simple… have several small parties over the month with a few couples instead of one big party.  Serve foods that you love, keep it comfortable and casual.  Consider just desserts and specialty coffees, or appetizers and drinks.  I like to pile colorful fruits on a platter and add greens for a simple centerpiece.  Embellish napkin rings and create lots of votive candles by adding spices, cranberries or succulents.

matthew mead cranberries on table white holiday matthew mead

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